Have you used (or worked for) a packing/moving service?

I did a search but couldn’t find anything on packing services.

I’m curious what to expect. The city is forcing us to move out of our beloved 3-bedroom apartment (they say they want to build a school, ha!) and they are paying our moving expenses. Whether they like it or not, a packing service WILL be part of the deal. We planned on being here the rest of our lives and settled in accordingly. We have tens of thousands of books, records, magazines, DVDs, videos and cassettes. We have over 1000 LPs alone. We also do work at home, so we have 7 file cabinets and 2 steel case desks. Wooden shelves galore. Several dressers. All full. One moving company giving us an estimate saw all our stuff and quoted $8000.00! I think he made it high because he knew the city wouldn’t pay it and he wouldn’t have to deal with us. :slight_smile:

So, what should I expect from a packing service, and what will they expect of me? I’ve already gone through most of the house and given/thrown away just about everything I can part with. Every single dish/pot/pan in the kitchen has been washed, every drawer and cabinet culled, lots of odds and ends put in plastic grocery sacks, things put in boxes that we have boxes for (there’s a lot of stuff we don’t have boxes for though), and have done laundry, though I haven’t put anything away yet, thinking it might be easier to carry the clean clothes in the bags I put them in at the laundrymat.

What else? Should I empty out bedroom drawers? On the one hand, I’d think that’s the packing service’s job, on the other, I’m not sure I want a stranger going through my undies and I certainly will bag and disguise the sex toy drawer. What about clothes hanging in the closet?

Should I empty my office desk drawers? I did one side but not the other. I haven’t yet emptied the file cabinet drawers.

What do they do about odd-sized/shaped things? Boom boxes (2, with no boxes), baskets, posters, speakers, rolling carts (we have several), etc.?

How often do people get burglarized because someone from the moving/packing company scoped out the contents of the household?

Any tips, suggestions, anecdotes would be appreciated. Thanks!

We had a company pack and move our stuff when we bought our house. We still haven’t unpacked everything… or even 25% really…(it’s only 2 years ago!) but one of the things we did find:

A large box (size “LARGE” from U-Haul) with toys, clothing, AND A TV inside…

Wow, a bonus. Pity the poor kid who lost his toys though.

How was it having people pack your household? Sounds like you had a lot of stuff too. Did they come in the day before? The morning of the move? How many people? How long did it take? I’m guessing you have cats. What did you do about it/them? Did they tell you to do certain things in advance?

We don’t have any information because the city is still hammering out the details. We don’t even know what company it will be. All we know is that we will not accept “You got it, we’ll break it” - three guys in a pickup truck and some trash bags. It should all come together in the next couple of days and we’ll know more, but I’d like to be a bit clued in by then.
The city gave us 3 options.

Option 1:
Get 3 estimates and they’ll choose the lowest.

We’ve gotten two estimates so far, one for 8 grand and one for 3 grand. Other people we’ve called to get estimates won’t work for/with the city. Maybe the city is late on their bills because they go around buying up property for a school they don’t even plan on building for several years. (Grrr. I’ve already ranted about this in the Pit)

Option 2:
Use city movers.

No. No way. I’m all for supporting day-laborers, but not at the expense of our stuff.

Option 3:
Use a mover on a list of “approved” movers.

One guy who came to estimate misunderstood the situation, and when he got here and was re-told, said he wouldn’t work for the city. He did, however, look at the list of approved movers and gave his opinion. Chris said “who on this list would you trust to move a relative?” and he went down the list saying “god no! stay away from these guys!” “yeah, these guys do good work” “iffy” etc., and we’ve been calling the ones he recommended. Those with packing services, anyway.

It just occured to me that maybe this thread should have been put in MPSIMS. Perhaps a mod could move it please? Sorry about that.

We moved from Colorado to Michigan last year, and had a moving service pack the house and move us. We had no problems - nothing was majorly damaged (a few scratches here and there, but you really can’t expect to move without something being minorly damaged) and nothing’s gone missing that we can tell.

It cost us something like $7.5K to move across the country, so $8K for an in town move seems excessive. Of that, I think I remember the “packing up” part being about $1500. We had a 2500 square foot home, two people, no kids. I have a LOT of books, and I work at home.

I had a great experience with this move. The packers came in 3 days before the move, and they were FAST. There was no way we could have packed the house in the time they took, plus they had everything they needed right there - boxes, packing crates, packing materials. Hubby and I did nothing but pack the things we couldn’t leave to others - my jewelry, certain (ahem) “personal products”, and the clothing we’d need to tide us over while we waited for our stuff to get to the new house.

When it got there, it was just as easy. Everything was numbered and we had an associated list that made unpacking easy. “Box D114 has all our CDs in it! D37 has my clothes! Yippeee!”

Thanks for the response. I’d always heard about people being packed by the moving company but I’ve never known anyone who actually had it done.

It amazes me how they can see all your stuff, visualize how it will be packed and how it will fit on the truck perfectly.

The 8 thousand quote was before we had found an apartment, so he didn’t know how far he’d be moving us. The 3000.00 quote came after we’d found a place. Our new apartment is 2 blocks away. :slight_smile:

We have So Much Stuff, even after culling, that I’m afraid the workers will go on strike once they see the place. I’d like to hear what it’s like from the perspective of a packer. What’s the job like?